Man jailed for selling lethal drugs

By Abrad · Jul 26, 2006 ·
  1. Abrad
    A man who sold a lethal cocktail of party drugs to a workmate has been jailed for 16 months.

    But the workmate's death could not be used to justify a harsher penalty, a South Australian District Court judge said on Tuesday.

    Christopher Gurney died shortly after ingesting tablets he bought from Damien Aaron Shaw in November 2004.

    Both men believed the tablets had been ecstasy, but later analysis showed they had contained a mix of ecstasy and the hallucinogen PMA.

    Shaw, 28, of Naracoorte in South Australia's south-east, subsequently pleaded guilty to selling a prohibited substance or drug of dependence.

    Sentencing Shaw in the SA District Court on Tuesday, Judge Jeffery Anderson said while Mr Gurney's death could not be used to justify a harsher penalty, it did serve as a reminder about the dangers of drug taking.

    Judge Anderson said Shaw had a long history of drug abuse, starting at the age of 17 when he started using cannabis.

    Within a year, Shaw was addicted to amphetamines.

    He then started using ecstasy and later selling it as a means to pay for his drug addiction.

    Judge Anderson said the death of Mr Gurney, who had worked with Shaw at a meat factory, had a profound effect on Shaw, who had since suffered from anxiety, depression and paranoia.

    He said Shaw, who has a four-year-old son, had been drug free for about 20 months.

    Shaw was sentenced to three years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 16 months.

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